By SALENA FOURIE
According to News24’s Crime Check stats, Eastern Cape towns dominate SA’s sexual offence list.
Families of South Africa Makhanda (FAMSA) face head-on the consequences of gender-based violence (GBV) and other concerning social problems every working day.
FAMSA social worker Sive Mafane said Makhanda’s biggest social issue is substance abuse, which in turn leads to GBV and domestic violence. “I found that alcohol is one of the main reasons behind GBV in communities,” she said.
While FAMSA continues its work of healing relationships affected by this wide array of social issues, they are facing inconsistent funding from the Department of Social Development (DSD).
The DSD is required to fund the organisation monthly. However, they do not do so on time and sometimes take months before making payment.
The organisation is often unsure when its funds will be paid. The lack of resources and funding has them struggling to operate to the best of their abilities.
FAMSA work with 10-15 clients a week, said Mafane, one of only two social workers at the organisation. Staff members often have to split tasks amongst themselves to ensure the organisation runs as smoothly as possible under the circumstances.
Their free counselling services cover drug abuse, parent-child problems, relationships, gender-based violence and more.
Those who have a source of income or come as part of court referrals are asked to donate as little as R50 for the services FAMSA provides.
With this money, FAMSA can buy necessary, affordable things such as stationary or paper for all the intake forms and files used for clients. “All of those little things add up, and we don’t buy in bulk because we are a small office”, Sive said.
Another challenge FAMSA faces is relocating to the back of the Settlers Day Clinic on Cobden Street. People often are unaware of their relocation and don’t know where to go to get counselling. Due to their lack of funding, they can also not do effective marketing for this relocation.
Despite their funding challenges, however, they continue to restore the relationships and traumatic experiences of community members of Makhanda. This organisation regards the restoration of families, relationships and the minds of Makhanda and other parts of the Eastern Cape as vital to social development.
If you can donate, here are a few things they need:
- A second-hand printer
- Mask and cleaning equipment
- General funding or sponsorship
FAMSA Makhanda banking details:
Account name: FAMSA
Bank: Standard Bank
Account number: 081996802